BY Tayo SHOFODUNRIN @Thayorclassic
I feel flavours exploding in my mouth when I take the first bite … of the goat head.
Abacha, also known as African Salad, is a highly nutritious and sumptuous delicacy native to the Igbos in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria. It can be enjoyed as a snack, dessert, appetizer or full meal any day. Or for me, anytime.
I wonder how life was in the past when there was no easy access to varieties of junk
food like we have today. The truth is if I really had a wish, it would be to finish all the good food in the world today, but I guess, a foodie’s wishes don’t come true. So, I’ll limit myself to my love for abacha.
Boiled cassava or tapioca is scrapped into light almost transparent flakes and dried. This is the abacha base.
Before You Make The African Salad
Prepare the ehu seeds by roasting, peeling and grinding them with a dry mill.
Cook ponmo till done and cut into small pieces.
Depending on your choice of fish (you can use all of kinds), fry or roast the mackerel, soak the stockfish in water and debone the dry fish.
Wash and cut the vegetables into tiny pieces. Cut the big bulb of onion into tiny pieces and cut the medium one in circles.
Wash the garden eggs and set aside. No need to cut these.
Grind the crayfish and pepper
Soak the Abacha in cold water and rinse the Ugba with lukewarm water. Once the Abacha has softened, put in a sieve to drain.
Put the powdered potash in a cup or bowl and pour about 1 cup of cold water. Stir well and you are ready to start making the African Salad.
Ingredients for Abacha
3 handfuls abacha
2 cups ugba (ukpaka)
30 cl red palm oil
2 tablespoons Powdered Potash (food tenderizer)
1 large Onion
Salt and dry pepper
4 tablespoons ground Crayfish
2 Maggi cubes
1 teaspoon ground Ehu seeds (Calabash Nutmeg)
1 teaspoon Ogiri / Iru
3 Fresh Utazi leaves
Garden Egg leaves
1 medium onion (for serving)
Pour the palm oil into a sizeable pot/ bowl. Pour the water from the potash mixture, making sure not to pour the sediments. Stir very well until you get a yellow paste.
Add the ground pepper, ground ehu, crushed stock cubes, crayfish, diced onions and ugba (ukpaka), then stir very well.
Add the iru/ogiri and make sure it is mixed very well. Add the diced ponmo and stir very well. Now add the soaked and
drained Abacha and stir till it is well incorporated in the palm oil paste.
Add the sliced Utazi and salt to taste and stir well. You can also use dry Utazi. It is important that you add salt last because after adding all that seasoning, your Abacha may not even need salt any more.
Add the sliced garden egg leaves, stir and serve with garden eggs, fish and onions.
If you like yours hot transfer to a stove and heat to desired temperature at medium heat. When done, turn off the heat and add the sliced garden egg leaves, stir very well and serve
Culled from True Server Magazine